The Federal Government has directed Vice Chancellors of striking public universities and inter-varsity centres in Nigeria to enforce the no-work-no-pay rule on striking lecturers.
This directive is coming barely two weeks when the nation’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo publicly declared at the Founder’s Day of the University of Ibadan, UI, that the demands of the academic staff of Nigeria’s universities for better funding of public schools, especially universities were logical and within the ambit of the law.
According to PM News, the directive was communicated to universities in a memo dated Thursday, November 29, 2018, sent by the Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC, to University Vice Chancellors.
The Memo, with reference number NUC/ES/138/Vol. 60/48 was signed by the Director, Research, Innovation and Information Technology, Dr S. B. Ramon-Yusuf.
In the Memo, the federal government noted that payment of salaries to the striking workers from any other sources would be viewed as a violation of extant rules and Government directive.
The Memo reads, “In view of the current Industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the federal government has directed that there shall be no payment of any form of salaries and allowances to the staff on strike in federal and inter-varsity centers. Consequently, I am to direct Vice-Chancellors to apply the “No-work-no-pay” rule.
“However, Universities and inter-varsity centers are to pay salaries and allowances to Non-teaching staff. All Vice Chancellors and Directors of centers should note that the salaries to staff on strike from whatever source of funds shall be viewed as violation of extant rules and directive of the federal government of Nigeria.”
Reacting to the Memo on no-work-no-pay, Chairman, University of Ibadan Chapter of ASUU, Dr Deji Omole described the federal government as shameless for owing lecturers seven years of unpaid earned academic allowances and still wanted them to continue to work for free while the Presidency and the National Assembly fed fat on the wealth of the nation.
He said it was sad that a government that prides itself as having integrity had shameful shown it lacks integrity by failing to honour agreements reached with the union but resulted to harassment and intimidation of its members on a patriotic struggle to save public education in Nigeria.
Omole said that the directive would add fuel to the struggle as academic staff had resolved to get a proper education for the children of the masses.
According to Omole, the Military government tried unsuccessfully to intimidate the collective will of Nigerian masses, adding that members of the union had resolved to fight for the future of the country.
He said, “We have passed this road before. It is a familiar terrain which we can navigate with our eyes closed. We shall triumph any attempt to destroy the common patrimony”. The power of the people is stronger than the people in power.”